Suzanne Woods Fisher
A reader sent me an email after reading the first chapter of The Sweet Life. “I can’t imagine any mother,” she wrote, “having surgery for breast cancer without telling her daughter.”
Uh, well, that would be me.
After a routine mammogram discovered breast cancer, I made a decision to not tell my family until after the surgery. Hold your judgment! I had good reasons.
First of all, I found out I had cancer on Christmas Eve (such a bummer!), my mother-in-law had just passed away, my youngest son was bringing his sweetheart home for Christmas, and it was clear an engagement was pending, my youngest daughter’s mother-in-law was undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. Too much! It was all too much.
So, I chose to keep my news to myself. I did leave a “just in case something goes wrong” note for my four adult children. About a week after the surgery, I told them. Yes, they were mad at me. More mad than worried.
But that was okay. I hadn’t wanted anyone to worry about me. After all, I had a book to write! And thank God I did, because “The Sweet Life” became a wonderful escape during six long weeks of radiation. Cathartic, too. I wove the whole experience into Marnie Dixon’s story—though breast cancer wasn’t a major plot line. Still, what you’ll read came from firsthand experience. It’s a very personal story for me.
The Sweet Life is a novel about Marnie and her daughter, Dawn, both in need of a fresh start. Dawn’s fiancé, Kevin, has just called off the wedding. And Marnie…well, you already know about her back story. The two women end up on Cape Cod and Marnie, being a smidge impulsive, makes a low ball offer on a rundown ice cream shop. To her surprise, and Dawn’s horror, the offer was accepted. Suddenly, they’re in the ice cream business. And Marnie has never made ice cream before. Not once.
To circle back to my story…I’m doing great! That’s the thing about cancer, especially the all-too-common diagnosis of breast cancer—catch it early! It’s so curable. A note to all women who might be reading this post: please schedule your annual mammogram. Keep that appointment. And if, like me, you do end up with a diagnosis you hadn’t expected, please feel free to email me for encouragement. email@example.com
Suzanne Woods Fisher, with over 1.5 million copies sold, is a bestselling author of over 39 books, ranging from novels to children’s books to non-fiction. She is a Christy Award finalist, a winner of Carol and Selah awards, and a two-time finalist for ECPA Book of the Year. She writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading them. Suzanne lives with her very big family in northern California.